Oh, all this introspection and looking back on my life is tough. I have been wracking my mind for days over what makes me feel proud, in what moments I felt most proud, what accomplishments have made me proud.
And I am drawing a blank.
A big part of the problem is that I equate pride and proudness with bragging and posturing. I’m all about staying low key. I don’t usually like to draw attention to myself or to make ripples. Because then someone might see a flaw or, even worse, expect me to do those proud-producing things all the time. I mean, what if I fail?
But back to the question. What in my life has made me proud?
So, let me just list some little moments:
- I was proud of getting accepted to Smith College on early decision, especially as my high school guidance counselor advised me against applying there, because she said it was unlikely I would get accepted. (Really?! What kind of guidance counselor was she?!)
- I was proud of being able to use my high school AP credits and a few extra credit hours each semester in order to graduate a year early, thus saving my overly generous parents another year’s worth of tuition and getting me out into the workforce sooner!
- I was proud of getting a job in publishing so soon after graduating from Denver University Publishing Institute and then moving up through the ranks from editorial assistant to full-on production editor in such a short time.
But in my mind, I tend to taint each proud moment in my life with some kind of disclaimer.
I half-jokingly tell people the only reason I got into Smith was that I was the only applicant from Alabama.
Even though I graduated early, my grades were lackluster, and since I sort of rushed through it all, I still feel like I didn’t get all I could out of college.
But, hey, I don’t have a disclaimer for that first job. I really did get that job on my own merit. And thanks to a fabulous mentor and a super-supportive boss, I was able to learn a great deal in a short time and move up through the ranks, putting me on the road to where I am now. So, hooray for me.
But the point isn’t really to toot my own horn, is it? What deeper meaning can I learn from this little prompt?
Well, obviously, I need to value those proud moments in my life more and stop putting myself down. I did get into a good school, even if I am now the first to (loudly) proclaim that no school is good or bad; it’s what you get out of it that counts. And I did get through that college in three quick years. And my GPA never ever came up in the real world, so who cares if it wasn’t a 4.0. What mattered more is that I learned how to study, get work done, prioritize projects, work with others, make new friends, and deal with difficult situations. All of which come in handy on a regular basis in every day of my life.
So, my task for myself is to look at other moments from my life that I put down and really look at what I have achieved, what I have learned, and how it has all helped me to become who I am and who I will be.